Wikibooks:Reading room/Proposals

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Welcome to the Proposals reading room. On this page, Wikibookians are free to talk about suggestions for improving Wikibooks.

Now under construction: Wikibooks Stacks[edit]

As part of the infrastructure overhaul I've been doing for, at this writing, just over 23 months, and following from the previous discussion here in the ongoing series of threads (link), I'm now developing a replacement for the current subject hierarchy, in the form of a book called Wikibooks Stacks.

I'm not currently asking for help with this, tbh. Somewhat embarrassingly, given the collaborative nature of wikis, just atm I really need to do this carefully, step by step, myself, because there's still new design work involved at each step. But I do want to let everyone know what I'm doing, and perhaps folks here will offer advice (or point out that I'm making a huge mistake somewhere!).

When I'm all done, all our 3000-or-so books will be filed in both the "old" subject hierarchy and the "new" stacks, and I'll be able to do the equivalent of flipping one of those big high-voltage switches and suddenly the categories visible on each book main page will be shelves instead of subjects, and then I can start the process of carefully mothballing the old subject pages, one by one. Then it'll be time to start in earnest on the final(?) stage of this multi-year overhaul of our infrastructure, the introduction of topical categories that list pages as well as books, which will enable us to provide much better targets for incoming links from sister projects, including from Wikipedia.

Grouping all of this machinery in a book is more convenient, organizationally, than the Subject: namespace, as it happens. The new pages, equivalent to subjects, have name prefix Shelf: or, at the top level, Department:, which are not recognized by the wiki platform as namespace prefixes, so these pages are all technically in mainspace, as is the book. Our infrastructure templates such as {{BookCat}} and {{BOOKNAME}} know to associate these name prefixes with book Wikibooks Stacks, which is convenient because most of the pages involved don't have to have the name of the book built into them at all, they can just use markup {{BOOKNAME|Shelf:}} (which expands to Wikibooks Stacks). Shelves correspond to subjects that use {{subject page}}, departments to subjects that use {{root subject}}.

There are shelf categories, each with an associated allbooks category, just as there are subject categories with associated allbooks categories. When I set up the machinery of the subject hierarchy, I arranged that when any of the pages involved detected a problem, it would flag it out, and provide buttons to help a human operator implement likely actions to fix it. This time around, I've made some improvements to this semi-automation while I was about it.

I also very much want to arrange for dialog-based assistants to replace the older-style editing buttons (with the older-style buttons reappearing if the dialog tools are not detected — thus, graceful degradation when things aren't working right). This would be very cutting-edge use of the dialog tools, and I very much want to learn as much as I can from the experience, about how to make effective use of the dialog tools. Which is actually part of what's holding me up just atm: I could be marching forward with setting up shelves, but then I'd be missing out on this major opportunity to gain experience with dialog. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 19:51, 3 June 2018 (UTC)

Progress report: All our books have been shelved; they're also all listed in subjects. The shelf categories are hidden, the subject categories are visible; but I'm now in a position to switch that, so the shelf categories are visible and the subject categories hidden. Then I can start shutting down the subjects, which also has to be done manually. Strangely, I've got a discrepancy between the number of shelves and the number of subjects, whose cause should eventually come out during the manual shutdown. I'm not sure what to do about possible incoming links to subject pages that are now going to be either nonexistant or redirects. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 02:26, 29 September 2018 (UTC)
Cheers for all the work you have made already. I noticed two things which I'm not sure whether they are glitches or not: 1) Departments do not list any featured books. 2) Under Wikibooks Stacks/Departments the Wikijunior department correctly lists the Wikijunior shelf, but the Help department does not list the Help shelf. -- Vito F. (discuss) 23:46, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
On the second point, actually the link provided is to the help shelf, rather than to the help department. I'm unsure whether that should be treated differently, or if instead the wikijunior department should be treated differently. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 04:03, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
I think I've got the department featured books problem fixed. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 06:43, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
I've improved both of those displays on the departments page. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 12:44, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
Update: My progress on this is currently mired in the various pages associated with quality as assigned by various "WikiProjects". That part of our infrastructure was imported by Adrignola and adapted for Wikibooks —mainly by adding support for Subject pages— back in 2010; it isn't heavily used, but wants updating to support the rearrangement; except that frankly I find its internal design largely indecipherable. How Adrignola figured it out to make changes then, I find hard to imagine, and it's worse now with existing use of the Subject-based version to accommodate. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 13:28, 22 January 2019 (UTC)
Still mired. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 21:14, 8 April 2019 (UTC) – 23:35, 11 July 2019 (UTC)

Multilingual Shared Templates and Modules[edit]

Hello en-wiki community!

I recently organized a project to share templates and modules between wiki projects and languages. It allows modules and templates to be “language-neutral”, and store all text translations on Commons. This means that it is enough to copy/paste a template without any changes, and update the translations separately. If someone fixes a bug or adds a new feature in the original module, you can copy/paste it again without any translation work. My bot DiBabelYurikBot can help with copying. This way users can spend more time on content, and less time on updating and copying templates. Please see project page for details and ask questions on talk page.

P.S. I am currently running for the Wikimedia board, focusing on content and support of multi-language communities. If you liked my projects like maps, graphs, or this one, I will be happy to receive your support. (any registered user group can vote). Thank you! --Yurik (🗨️) 04:06, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
(Aside: One wonders whether "en-wiki" is being used to mean all English wikimedia sisters (which would be refreshing).) --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 12:59, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
(hehe, Pi zero, I was thinking the same thing when writing it -- at first I wanted to do a longer en-wikibooks but then thought it would be fairer to just call everyone a wiki :) --Yurik (discusscontribs) 16:59, 12 May 2019 (UTC))


Hi. I was looking at Wikibooks:Bots and couldn't find where to request that a bot be approved. I have recently been going through the many pages that have pending revisions, and see that on some (lots) of them the total changes to be reviewed result in no difference (the last edit reversed the impact of all previous edits, via undo or otherwise). In such cases, reviewers are only presented with the option to "accept [the new] revision". Thus, I propose that a bot automatically accept all pending revisions that result in no changes, assessing at the same quality as the last assessed revision. Thanks, --DannyS712 (discusscontribs) 02:12, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

@QuiteUnusual: pinging the only bureaucrat, who is the only person who would be able to add a bot flag (required for higher speeds and api limits). I am an experienced bot operator - see w:en:User:DannyS712/bot. Thanks, --DannyS712 (discusscontribs) 02:20, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't think I'd trust that those cases can be safely sighted by a bot. When there are no changes, afaik it's because the page uses some other page —a template, or an image— that has not been sighted; and it's then desirable for some human to examine the situation, to work out how it ought to be handled on a case-by-case basis. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 02:45, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
@Pi zero: I understand your concern, but that fortunately isn't the case. Looking through 10 minutes of my patrol logs, I manually patrolled each of the following revisions:
which had no changes because they were reverted. Changes to templates are tracked separately from changes to mainspace pages, and are reviewed separately; likewise with images. --DannyS712 (discusscontribs) 03:19, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
Well, if such a bot is done with care for the case I mentioned, I have no specific objection. It's a known fact I dislike bots — not just that I dislike running them myself, but that I dislike having automation editing a wiki without human supervision (whereas I'm quite sanguine about semi-automated assistance); but bots can save labor when used carefully, and some people do like them, and the semi-automation I envision is taking a long time to develop. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 05:10, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
@Pi zero: for example, here is a revision that the bot would patrol that is still pending, if you would like to take a look: [1]. It would assess as "spot checked" and "minimal". Thanks, --DannyS712 (discusscontribs) 06:10, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
I certainly like the principle and wouldn't object to this being tested. QuiteUnusual (discusscontribs) 08:01, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
I would not object either. Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 08:29, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
Favor JackPotte (discusscontribs) 13:56, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
In that case, can User:DannyS712 bot please be flagged as a reviewer? At User:DannyS712_test/patrol.json I list pages that would be patrolled, and the levels that they would be patrolled at. Thanks, --DannyS712 (discusscontribs) 03:59, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
Wouldn't autoreview also do in this case? Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 08:28, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
@Leaderboard:, no, because that would 1) require the bot to make edits, and 2) only be marked as patrolled if all previous edits were already patrolled, which isn't the case here. --DannyS712 (discusscontribs) 21:15, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
@DannyS712: Done for one month, simply request again after that time. Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 08:37, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. I did a first run through - take a look at [2]. --DannyS712 (discusscontribs) 02:24, 10 June 2019 (UTC)